Finalled

A slight detour from your regular programming, I just wanted to quickly share that my dad’s house was finalled today. A year ago my siblings and I were struggling with what to do about this:

Over the past year, we’ve been so humbled and grateful to receive so much help and support from family, friends and strangers. A few days ago, this is what things looked like as a final work party was attending to the finishing touches:

finalHouse

So I just wanted to take a moment to say a heartfelt thanks to the kind people who helped us get here, whether I know you or not, you’ve helped to bring some measure of closure and relief to our family.

Thanks most of all to my sister and brother, who have spent so much of their energy driving this project. I love you guys.

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New Animation Reel

It’s been a long time since I cut a reel and I’ve been meaning to for a while. Well, I finally got around to it! Ironically the newest work on here is still already a year and a half old:

Morgan Loomis Animation Reel 2014 from Morgan Loomis on Vimeo.

For the breakdown you can check it out on Zerply. (If you haven’t tried doing a breakdown on Zerply, it’s pretty slick).

Next up I’ll try to put together a separate rigging reel, whenever I find the time to do this again.

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Posted in Animation, Hobbit, Movies, News, Tintin, Tippett, Weta | 1 Comment

Hobbit 3 First Trailer

There you have it:

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Apes on FXGuide

This video from FXGuide is the best one I’ve seen so far in terms of going into a bit of detail around the work we did on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and the different challenges faced by different disciplines at Weta, which is nice:

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Apes is Out

Let me know what you thought!

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Planet of the Apes World First Look

81204

Empire Magazine has a first reaction to some footage that was recently screened from DotPotA, as well as a few images from the film. I’m pretty excited about how this movie is shaping up.

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Reorganized Tools, New Tools

I’ve updated the Tools page to organize the scripts into two different categories, animation and rigging. I wanted to start adding some more simple rigging utilities, the first two new ones are Parent Shape and Reset Bind. ml_parentShape reparents shape  nodes to other transforms, or unparents shapes from their transforms, and ml_resetBind resets skinCluster deformations after moving some joints around. They’re both pretty basic and straightforward, (and I’m sure they’ve been written before) but I figured I’d share them because I get a lot of use out of them in any case.

I’ve also added one new animation tool, ml_transferKeytimes. Again, a pretty basic utility, just copies the keytimes (not the keys) from any one node to a group of others. A use case for this is if you’ve set key poses on a root control, and you want a group of other controls to have all their keys set on the same frames as that one control, this can transfer keytimes while preserving animation (insofar as that’s possible).

Grab them from the Tools page!

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Posted in Python, Tools | 5 Comments

Puppeteer

puppeteerGuy_160So Dummy was built with a python tool-set which I’m calling Puppeteer. I’ve created a page to be a central place for this project as it continues to grow and evolve, and I plan on writing some more posts in the future to talk a bit more about some of the ideas behind it. I’ve also taken the plunge and created a facebook page as a way to promote this system and any future rigs, I’m not really sure what to expect from that as I’m not the most social media savvy individual. But if it gets enough attention it may become a bit of a hub for information about Puppeteer developments.

The final part of this equation is that I’m testing the waters to see what sort of interest people may have in Puppeteer as a rigging service, so feel free to get in touch if you’d like more information about that.

Thanks for reading!

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Making of Smaug Featurette

I believe this is what was shown for the VES awards:

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Here’s Dummy

dummyMugShotPortrait_180So as I’ve mentioned before, my side project for the past couple years has been developing a rigging system, and Dummy is the poor sap I’ve been testing it on. I’m afraid some people might be a bit disappointed to find out he’s a pretty boring-looking, averagely-proportioned character with no facial rig. But my goal for this guy was to be a test pilot, and a first step in producing puppets with my toolset. I just wanted to create a robust, stripped down biped, focussing at first on the control rig rather than things like deformations.

How To Use Him

Head over to the new Maya Rigs page, or download him at the end of this post. I’m hoping the setup should be pretty straightforward, the one thing which may be different from other rigs you’ve used is where to find the settings. There’s no control curves for them, so it might not be obvious how to change things like FK/IK. However, if you just expand the top node in the outliner, directly underneath it you’ll see a group for every part of the character (grp_Root, grp_Head, grp_Spine, etc.). These groups have attributes to control the settings which affect that element of the puppet.

What’s So Special

Dummy is a pretty generic character and rig, there’s probably not a lot of surprises for someone who has much industry experience with biped rigs, but even so there’s a couple features which are the tiniest bit “experimental” to me. I’d be interested in getting feedback on these aspects of the puppet in particular:

  • Auto Pole Vector – The default mode of the pole vectors are “Auto,” which keeps them hopefully in a stable and default position when moving a hand or foot. This isn’t a new concept, but I’m hoping it’s a more useful and stable implementation than some I’ve seen.
  • Spine Extend/Collapse – In addition to stretching, the spine will straighten out a bit when stretched, and bend when compressed. It’s meant to evoke a bit more of an IK feel, as well as allow for animating stretching and compressing without too much scaling.
  • Soften IK – This also isn’t a new concept, but generally I see it used in conjunction with scaling limbs. In this case I didn’t want the limbs to be scaleable, but I still wanted this effect.

I may go into these features a bit more in future posts, including how they’re set up, if people are interested. The next post though will be about Puppeteer, the system behind the rig. Now without further ado:

Dummy
Dummy
dummy_puppet_v7_low.ma
Version: 7
3.0 MiB
512 Downloads
Details

EDIT:

Forgot to add that there’s also a basic support script for FK/IK switching and a few selection tools (also requires ml_utilities):

ML Puppet
ML Puppet
ml_puppet.py
Version: 3
12.2 KiB
374 Downloads
Details
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